New seasonal checklists provide ventilation maintenance guidelines
AMES, Iowa – Properly functioning ventilation systems are vital to today’s pork production facilities, and following a regular process for maintaining their operation can pay big economic dividends. A set of two new ventilation checklists from Iowa Pork Industry Center offers a seasonal approach to checking the various components in an easy-to-use checklist format.
Iowa State University extension agriculture and biosystems engineer Brett Ramirez originally developed the checklists for use in ventilation workshops. He said the checklists, one for summer and one for winter, are to help guide and remind the person in charge of maintenance and/or ventilation management of necessary tasks and inspections. ISU extension swine specialist Mark Storlie assisted him with these checklists.
"These tasks are important steps in getting the barn and its ventilation system ready for upcoming changes in weather," Ramirez said. "The categories on the checklists are similar, although the items to be checked will be different depending on the season."
Typically, the summer checklist would be used around April to prepare for cooling season, and the winter checklist would be used around October for heating season.
The idea behind these checklists is simple, Ramirez said. Having a printed checklist that stays in the barn can be a useful tool to facilitate maintenance and ensure the proper equipment and components of the barn are being inspected.
"Some of the tasks and checkpoints listed might not be intuitive for everyone, so having a detailed list with place for notes is an excellent guide," he said. "Laminating a printed copy to keep in the barn also allows a person to mark what they found, and then easily clear it for the next year."
Ramirez cautioned producers that because each barn, each system and other contributing factors may be different, not all recommendations listed might be appropriate for every location.
IPIC was established in 1994 as a coordinated effort of the colleges of Agriculture (now Agriculture and Life Sciences) and Veterinary Medicine at ISU. Its mission is to promote efficient pork production technologies in Iowa, maintain Iowa's pork industry leadership and strengthen rural development efforts. IPIC focuses its efforts on programs that are integral and complementary to ISU Extension and Outreach. Through IPIC, Iowa producers receive accurate and timely information to make their operations more efficient and profitable.